TITLE

Labor Pain

PUB. DATE
September 2003
SOURCE
New Republic;9/29/2003, Vol. 229 Issue 13, p7
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Editorial. American negotiators joined their European counterparts in stymieing proposals by developing countries to dismantle the agricultural subsidies that condemn millions of Third World farmers to poverty. A great opening, you'd think, for the Democrats running for president. After all, candidate after candidate has slammed the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush for poisoning America's relations with the rest of the world, and senior Democrats like Joseph Biden have argued that, to win the war on terrorism, the United States must reduce the developing-world poverty that breeds extremism. Unfortunately, this year's crop of Democratic candidates hasn't attacked the Bush administration for its economically nonsensical, poverty-breeding protectionism. The bad-old days of the 1980s, when Democrats pandered to labor's worst instincts, are back. Dick Gephardt has led congressional opposition to new trade agreements with Chile and Singapore and blamed trade links with China for siphoning off U.S. jobs. In past presidential election years, Democrats who have pandered to protectionist unions in the primary have tacked back toward free trade during the general election under pressure from Republican opponents. But, this year, that may not happen. President Bush, after all, has slapped 30 percent tariffs on imported steel and signed a bill providing $170 billion in farm subsidies. Bill Clinton finally convinced Americans that the Democrats were trustworthy economic stewards, and, with their opposition to Bush's lunatic tax cuts, today's candidates might do the same.
ACCESSION #
10875286

 

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